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There is something for everyone at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.  Below is a list of our scheduled events classes, and exhibits.  For details on any individual listing, just click on the event for more information.  If you still have questions, feel free to call the garden at 413.298.3926.  See you at the Garden!

Feb
26
Sun
The Natural History Of Bees For Beekeepers And Naturalists Alike
Feb 26 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Aimed at beekeepers who want a more in-depth understanding of bee behavior as well as those interested in the natural world, this class, focused on bees as pollinators as well as on honey bees, explores the basic biology of these essential creatures. Dr. Heather Mattila of Wellesley College shares information that allows beekeepers and naturalists to better understand the bees they see on flowers, how they live, and what they need in terms of habitat and food sources.

Heather Mattila has been a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Wellesley College since 2009. Her research focuses on mechanisms of social communication and organization, including honey bee behavior, the chemical ecology of colonies, the microbiology of queens and workers, and the impact of nutritional stress on workers.

For more information and to register, click here.

Mar
4
Sat
Perennials: The Best Of Yesterday, Today, And Tomorrow…
Mar 4 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Have you ever wondered why a plant that has received accolades from the gardening community just does not seem to work for you? Join author, gardener, and plant expert David Culp as he shares his advice on selecting perennials for Northeast gardens. Using the Perennial Plant of the Year listings of the past few decades as a starting point, David, who has evaluated plants for Sunny Borders for many years, examines what perennials are strong performers for gardeners in our region, and makes suggestions of additional species and varieties that may work better given local conditions. His expertise will be put to good use in his talk and by attendees as they go about selecting new plants for their gardens. And images of Brandywine Cottage, his own garden in Downington, PA, as captured in his book The Layered Garden, are sure to inspire our design sense as well. A book-signing will follow his talk.

David Culp is the creator of the gardens at Brandywine Cottage in Downingtown, PA, and is an herbaceous perennials instructor at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. His articles have appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Fine Gardening, Green Scene, and many other publications. David is Vice President for Sunny Border Nurseries in Connecticut and is author of the book, The Layered Garden, published by Timber Press.

For more information and to register, click here.

Mar
6
Mon
Growing An Organic Vegetable Garden
Mar 6 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

This course is co-enrolled with the Horticulture Certificate Program and meets on Mondays, March 6, 13, 20, 27 and April 3, 5:30 – 8:30 pm.

Whether starting a new vegetable garden or caring for an established one, Woven Roots Farm co-owner & manager, Peter Salinetti, is the one to turn to for a deeper understanding of no-till farming, soil and nutrient management, seed selection, crop rotation schemes, bed preparation, seed sowing and planting, pest management, and specific plant cultivation. Each week, the class will investigate a different vegetable family to insure all questions are answered about cultivation of these important crop families for the home vegetable gardener. He will pass along traditional and regenerative, no-till gardening practices for growing cold crops such as kale, broccoli, and cabbage; umbellifers such as carrots and fennel; legumes such as peas and beans; greens such as lettuce, radicchio, and arugula; herbs; corn; onions, leeks, and garlic; cucurbits such as melons, squashes, and pumpkins; and perhaps one of the most cherished groups: the solanums—tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplants. All in all, this is the perfect primer for planning and growing a well balanced vegetable garden and diet.

Peter Salinetti, along with his wife, Jennifer, own Woven Roots Farm, a small family farm and CSA in Tyringham, MA, that cultivates vegetables, flowers, and culinary herbs using traditional, regenerative, no-till farming practices. For over 16 years he has grown produce for Berkshire County families and has lectured on his farm for NOFA and other regional organizations.

For more information and to register, click here.

Mar
11
Sat
Spring Hive Management for Beekeepers
Mar 11 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join Massachusetts State Beekeeper Ken Warchol for an in-depth lecture on the spring care of honeybee hives. The class will focus on managing spring hive population build-up, feeding, dividing, monitoring pests, protecting the hive, and, most importantly, learning approaches to prevent swarming. In essence, this program will provide all of the critical information to properly time critical practices for getting the honey season off to a positive start.
In addition to serving as a Massachusetts State Bee keeper, Ken Warchol is a long time beekeeper with great teaching skills. His lectures are enjoyed by expert and novice beekeepers alike.

For more information and to register, click here.

South African Bulbs With Rob Girard
Mar 11 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Join gardener and plant expert Rob Girard as he shares his knowledge of an array of geophytes from South Africa, one of the most botanically diverse regions of the world. A dedicated plantsman, Rob has been growing these bulbs for years, many of which were started from seed collected by the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden in South Africa, and will tell us about their provenance and history, as well as their development, cultivation, and care. Rob will talk to the group in the Fitzpatrick Greenhouse, where he has worked with the BBG staff to grow on Chasmanthe bicolor, Ferraria crispa, Gladiolus tristis, Lachenalia,Ornithogalum dubium, Veltheimia bracteata, and (hopefully) some Babiana and Watsonia, which are being shown as part of the Garden’s annual Bulb Show.

For more information and to register, click here.

Mar
18
Sat
The Rabbit’s Eye View: Long-Term Plant Performance With Noel Kingsbury
Mar 18 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

The price of this workshop includes admission to the 1pm lecture, Wild about Perennials with Noel Kingsbury, on the same day.

The workshop is limited in size and is likely to sell out. Reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

A bagged lunch can be ordered separately for an additional fee. Please call 413-298-3926 to order lunch.

This half-day workshop aims to encourage participants to observe garden and landscape plants, focusing on their growth through the season and over the years, looking at how they compete with each other, and assessing prospects for their longevity and their suitability for a variety of garden locations. Kingsbury addresses questions about how the garden will evolve: How long will plants live? How far will they spread? How will a newly planted border look in five years, or ten years?Gardeners and designers can then use this knowledge to maximize garden interest while minimizing maintenance. This workshop teaches participants about how plants are linked to their natural habitats and ecology, and how this connects to the way gardeners can use such plants in the garden to best effect. Students will walk away with a rabbit’s eye view—a perspective that will enable them, through close observation of growing habits and life cycles of various plants, to be better gardeners and designers, and to more deeply appreciate the traits of the plants that they grow.

For more information and to register, click here.

Wild About Perennials With Noel Kingsbury
Mar 18 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

The author of Planting: A New Perspective shares his understanding of the naturalistic approach to planting design of landscape designers such as Piet Oudolf, Cassian Schmidt, Thomas Rainer, and Sarah Price. This introduction to the naturalistic style explains the basic philosophy behind the practice of selecting plants for the ecology of the site and gives us lessons on how to create a landscape that looks natural and responsive to site, while also having the long season of interest that gardeners desire. Using his own extraordinary photographs, Kingsbury will illustrate the techniques used in creating these planting designs, with examples of his own work and that of the renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf.

Noel Kingsbury is an internationally known writer about plants, gardens, and the environment. Best-known for his promotion of what is broadly called an ecological or naturalistic approach to planting design, he has written some 20 books on various aspects of plants and gardens, 3 of them in collaboration with Dutch designer and plantsman Piet Oudolf. Over the years he has written for Gardens Illustrated, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Garden, Hortus, The New York Times, and many other publications. He also teaches and is a garden/planting designer and horticultural consultant.

For more information and to register, click here.

Mar
22
Wed
Illuminating Botanicals With Gold Ink
Mar 22 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

This class meets on Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday, March 22, 23, & 24, 10 am – 4 pm.

Bring a bag lunch. A materials list will be e-mailed to you upon registration. Gold ink and paper can be purchased from the instructor.

In this studio class with botanical illustrator Carol Morley, students learn to add a decorative element to their botanical drawings by embellishing the flowing lines of a drawing of a flower or leaf with 18-carat-gold liquid ink. They will also learn to add details to a drawing with the point of a luminous silver or gold Prismacolor pencil. Students should bring along a few favorite botanical drawings to the class. They can then transfer one of them to a dark paper, add a bee or two and a butterfly, and weave in some gold lettering, which will transform the drawing into a glowing illuminated botanical illustration. Students will discover how easily spectralite liquid gold flows from the nib of a crow quill pen and how it looks and feels. For those with no crow quill experience, there is the option to work solely with luminous colored pencils.

Carol Ann Morley is a professional artist and dedicated teacher working in Milton, NH. She founded the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program at the New York Botanical Garden and teaches botanical art and drawing at the New York Botanical Garden, Wellesley College Botanic Garden, and Sanctuary Arts in Eliot, ME.
For more information and to register, click here.
Apr
8
Sat
Spring Pruning Of Woody Ornamental Plants
Apr 8 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Spring is a great time to assess woody shrubs for shape, structure, and winter damage. This offsite workshop will focus on learning by doing. Ron Yaple, noted arborist and owner of Race Mountain Tree Services in Sheffield, MA, will demonstrate how to renovate, rejuvenate, and shape shrubs and small ornamental trees for structure, health, and optimal growth. Plants covered will include viburnums, lilacs, witch hazels, deciduous azaleas, sweet shrubs, crab apples, and ornamental cherries. Following the demonstration, participants will work in small groups to properly assess and prune a wide selection of plants commonly found in the home landscape.
Ron Yaple, owner of Race Mountain Tree Services in Sheffield, MA, has developed a regional reputation as a premier arborist. He is a dedicated and knowledgeable teacher of arboriculture.
For more information and to register, click here.
Growing Nightshades In The Vegetable Garden
Apr 8 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Mention nightshades and most people immediately think of highly poisonous plants. While it is true that there are members of the nightshade family, or Solanaceae, that are quite toxic, several species of nightshade are among the most widely cultivated and economically important food plants in the world, including tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. Vegetable guru Ron Kujawski will discuss the cultural needs of these nightshade plants that belong in the home vegetable garden, from starting plants from seed and growing them on, to preparing the beds for planting, ongoing seasonal care, pest and disease management, and finally, the harvesting of their fruits. Participants will go home with a variety of nightshades for planting in their home garden.
Ron Kujawski, Ph.D. is the former Landscape and Nursery Specialist for UMass Cooperative Extension. He is a garden writer, educator and researcher in IPM, plant nutrition, and soil science. He teaches for the horticultural industry throughout New England and has the most amazing home vegetable garden.
For more information and to register, click here.

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